Chicago Sky, Angel Reese Could Determine Where Paige Bueckers Lands in 2025 Draft

Paige Bueckers

Getty Paige Bueckers of the Connecticut Huskies is widely expected to be the top pick in the WNBA draft next year.

With the 2024 WNBA draft officially in the books, some are already looking ahead to what 2025 may bring.

Barring extreme injury or the unforeseen breakout of another player, Connecticut Huskies star Paige Bueckers is sure to be the top pick in next year’s draft. But which team will be lucky enough to land her?

In a very early 2025 mock draft, Joseph Zucker of Bleacher Report has Bueckers heading to Dallas to join the Wings. “The Dallas Wings have the right to swap 2025 first-round picks with the Chicago Sky by virtue of the four-team trade that sent Marina Mabrey to the Windy City,” Zucker wrote. “Should the Sky wind up as one of the worst teams in the WNBA, the pick swap could go down as one of the worst transactions in recent memory.”

Chicago is fresh from drafting two national champions in former South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso and former LSU star Angel Reese, and both will likely play a large role in determining how well the Sky’s 2024 campaign goes.

Hope Is High for the Chicago Sky in 2024 After Recent Additions of Angel Reese & Kamilla Cardoso

The Sky finished fifth in the Eastern Conference last season with an 18-22 mark. They managed to sneak into the playoffs, but lost in the first round to the eventual champion Las Vegas Aces.

After winning it all in 2021 and finishing with a league-best 26-10 record in 2022, Chicago’s 2023 campaign felt like a huge step back. Former Sky general manager and head coach James Wade resigned from both roles in 2023, and the team finished the season in flux.

Chicago hired WNBA legend and Olympic gold medalist Teresa Weatherspoon to serve as the team’s new head coach in October of 2023, and there’s good reason to be excited at the thought of what T-Spoon will bring. The new Sky coach has over a decade of coaching experience and was known for her gritty hustle on the court.

The additions of Reese and Cardoso also give Chicago fans new reasons for hope. Reese averaged over 18 points and 13 rebounds in each of her two years at LSU, while the 6-foot-7 Cardoso put up 14.4 points and hauled in 9.7 rebounds per game last season. The rookie duo should immediately inject a fierceness immediately, while making it extremely difficult on opposing teams to secure any rebounds.

More on How Sky’s Upcoming Season Affects UConn’s Paige Bueckers in 2025 WNBA Draft

As Zucker noted, the Sky acquired Mabrey and a 2024 second round pick in the four-team trade that also included the Wings, the New York Liberty and the Phoenix Mercury. That’s the trade that also sent the 2025 first-round swap option to Dallas, and thus, it’s the trade that could bring Bueckers to town should Reese and the Sky play bad enough to warrant a very high draft pick.

Bueckers will be back for one more year at UConn after averaging 21.9 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists as a junior last year. The Huskies superstar missed the entire 2022-23 season due to an ACL injury, so her comeback last year was all the more impressive.

Another injury could change things, of course, but as it stands, Bueckers should be at the top of every team’s wish list next year. It’ll be interesting to see where she ultimately lands.